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Facts About This Year’s Fad Diets

Once again it’s the time for every one and their mother (usually a lot of mothers) to suddenly become a fitness and health food guru overnight, as we usher in the first few months of the “new year; new me” phenomenon. Getting in shape is a great idea and sure, it never hurt to follow some healthy eating tips but fad diets are not the way to achieve your goal. While many diets yield immediate results they are actually harming your body and do not promote a long-term healthy lifestyle. Here are the real facts about this year’s fad diets gift wrapped with a bit of attitude.

The Lunar/Moon Diet

As you can guess by its name, the Lunar Diet also known as the Werewolf Diet follows the lunar cycle. This diet is actually asking you to base your eating habits off of the patterns of the moon. This does not just mean not eating when you can see the moon* but fasting in accordance with the moon. This diet dictates that one only consume juice or water during the first twenty-four hours of the new or full moon. That’s not a diet, it’s anorexia. Fasting is never a safe or effective way to lose weight and trying to tie that in with a lunar cycle won’t change that. The only way this diet will make you weigh less is if you’re actually on the moon.

*Side note: if you are trying to lose weight maintain a regular sleep schedule and try not to eat after 8 p.m.

The Master Cleanse has received considerable attention lately.

The Master Cleanse has received considerable attention lately.

Juice Cleanse

First of all a juice cleanse is not a diet; it’s a temporary solution. Any sort of cleanse, even the Master Cleanse (yes, the one Beyoncé does) is not going to help you lose any weight for any amount of time longer than a week. Cleanses can be effective if you’re feeling irregular or looking to detoxify your body. However, many people make the mistake of trying to kick off their diet with a cleanse thinking it will give them a head start. The reality is at the end of a cleanse you’re more likely to crave carbs, junk food and other foods you were denying yourself during while cleansing. It’s hard to make a change overnight and long-term weight loss will be a gradual process.

The Gluten-Free Diet

Before getting into the truth of this fad diet, let’s begin with a thank you to all the bandwagon gluten-free eaters that have provided a world of convenience to those with celiac disease when it comes to food choices. That being said, there is no medical reason not to eat gluten if you are not allergic or intolerant. The reason the gluten-free diet causes so many people to lose weight is because it prohibits you from eating many unhealthy foods as a byproduct. Nearly every fast food or delivery service food contains gluten as well as most pre-made or packaged foods. Being gluten-free forces you to make healthier choices because it sets obvious guidelines, but many gluten-free products aren’t actually any better for you! Gluten-free breads and pastas tend to have more sugar and don’t digest in your body the same way other healthy complex carbs do. Just relax, a slice of multigrain bread isn’t going to kill you.

The Raw Food Diet

The raw food diet or the vegan raw food diet argues that cooking your food drains essential nutrients. The diet consists mainly of raw vegetables, fruit and grain; you’re pretty much eating like a rabbit. The biggest problem with this diet is that it is impractical to maintain and expensive.  The raw food diet also leaves a lot of gaps, making it hard to get the recommended amounts of calcium and protein.

As always these fad diets are just that, a fad. The only healthy, sustainable weight loss program is a healthy diet and daily exercise. Just know, the hard work does pay off.

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